Shed Stomach Fat Fast: The Best Exercises To Help You Achieve Toned Abs

slimmer, fitter, strongerAs we slowly begin to crawl out of Winter many of you will be anticipating the summer. Nothing screams summer more than blissful long days spent at the beach under the warmth of the sun.

Whilst all of us will have lost our colour a little and perhaps gained some weight over the winter months nobody wants to take the plunge and expose all at the beach in this shape.

It’s time to change your attitude, get exercising and cut away the fat to reveal your toned exterior.

Here are some of the best exercises to help you achieve toned abs and get you the perfect beach body:

The Abdominal Hold

  1. Find yourself a sturdy and well-weighted chair and sit straight, perched towards the edge of the seat.
  2. Following this, take your hands either side of your legs and grip the edge of the seat with your fingers pointing in the direction of your knees.
  3. The next step is to raise your toes two to four inches off the floor tightening your abs in the process. Then, extending and straightening your arms, lift your bum off of the chair.
  4. Aim to hold this position for around 5 – 10 seconds before lowering yourself back onto your seat and repeating.
  5. Keep this up for a minute each time you perform the exercise and you’re sure to be well on your way to solid abs.

The Pelvic Tilt

Next is an exercise that works wonders on your lower abdominals.

  1. To perform the pelvic tilt you must start out lying on the floor. You may use an exercise mat to provide some extra cushioning on hard flooring.
  2. Next, raise your knees bringing your feet closer towards your bum, tightening your core muscles in the process.
  3. Keeping your feet flat on the ground raise your pelvis in the direction of the ceiling. Hold this for around five seconds before lowering yourself back to the ground again.
  4. Give yourself a short break before repeating the exercise a further 7-11 times (8-12 reps in total).

The Plank

Tone those absThe plank is perhaps one of the most well known abdominal exercises and is sure to bring you that toned core that you have always longed for.

  1. Firstly, lay down flat on the floor facing the ground. Then, much alike a press-up, raise yourself up straightening your arms. Now only your palms and toes should be touching the floor.
  2. Keeping your back straight, hold the position for as long as you possibly can.

The Vertical Leg Crunch

  1. Lying on your back extend your legs towards the ceiling (knees slightly bent). Keeping your legs in a fixed position, aim to lift your torso towards your knees making sure your shoulder blades leave the floor.
  2. You may place your hands behind your head for support and to help you keep your chin up. However, ensure you do not pull on your neck.
  3. Once you have completed the contraction lower your upper body back to the floor and respect another 11-15 times (12-16 rep in total).

Crunch those absIf you feel you may need a little help achieving that toned physique fit for the beach this Summer then don’t hesitate. Employ the help of a personal trainer as we emerge from the winter and make our way into spring 2014.

If you are looking for a personal trainer they don’t come much better or more qualified for the role than London’s Gerald Smith. With a degree in Exercise, Nutrition and Health and plenty of experience under his belt Gerald is sure to help you get in shape. Visit to see what he can do for you.


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Facebook Weekly Summary – April 1st – April 7th 2013

Being Fit and Healthy Rocks - CantaloupesIn case you missed anything this is a weekly summary of all the posts that went out this week on the Facebook page Being Fit and Healthy Rocks .

Monday April 1st – The health and strength of your bones is very important, especially as you get older. For older woman it is even more essential. As the menopause sets in and production of oestrogen reduces, calcium is not so easily absorbed and bones can become weak.Increasing your calcium intake can help. Calcium is available in Milk, Cheese, dark green leafy vegetables. If you increase your Calcium intake you should also increase your levels of Magnesium as these work together to keep bones strong. Magnesium is in nuts, seeds and whole grains.

If you think you are short of your daily need you may need to take supplements the check these out, however always check with your medical / health professional before starting a course of supplements.

Tuesday April 2nd – Cantaloupes are not only juicy and delicious; they are high in potassium, vitamin C and beta carotene. Melon that is fresh can be enjoyed in a variety of ways and is nutritious and tasty. 

Wednesday 3rd April – There's a clever little line in the Jimmy Buffet song "Fruitcakes" when his 'lady' is lamenting: "I treat my body like a temple, You treat yours like a tent"

Thursday 4th April – The good news is drinking green tea does more than just help you lose weight. As an antioxidant, green tea provides a number of benefits to your cardiovascular health. This means green tea can help reduce the risk of heart problems. Green tea can also help improve your metabolism and control your cholesterol level, and some claim that it can help your mental focus, as well. To check them out have a look here –

Friday 5th April – Vegetable Minestrone Soup Recipe, very healthy and nutritious – Check it out here

Saturday 6th April – Many inexperienced (sometimes even experienced!) gym regulars believe that muscles grow while lifting weights. However lifting weights forms only a small fraction of the muscle building process. Muscle development takes place at night during deep sleep when the body synthesises new cells with nutrients from our diet. Therefore nutrition forms a very important part of a bodybuilding program, especially protein.

For more information go here –

I hope you enjoyed this summary, leave some feedback below and let us know if you did and what you'd like to see in future postings.









Fit and Healthy – Best of the Health News from around the world – Apr 1st-7th

Health and Fitness newsHere is the best of the health and fitness news from around the World for the week of April 1st to April 7th.

1) A new study says that walking is as good as running for your heart. Take a look here – walking is good for your heart

2) Research shows that having a financial reward at the end of a diet plan can lead to greater success. To find out more check this out – Money incentive can help you lose weight

3) In case you didn't know stretching before exercise can actually increase your risk of Injury – Stretching before exercise can be harmful

4) This great article shows that you shouldn't focus on weight loss to be happy. Here are 30 other ways to achieve that feeling of well-being you crave – boost your happiness and well-being/

5) It is true apparently, at least according to this article, sitting down for a family meal can actually improve you and your loved ones health – family meals can be healthier

6) If you are trying to lose weight, but struggling it could be due to your portion size. Check this article out for some guidance – when dieting check your portion sizes

7) This has got to be the crazy story of the week – If you want a fitness buddy get a Dog ! –

8) Before you start one of those crash diets, or are thinking about doing something drastic to lose weight, you had better read this – weight loss and heart damage

9) Good news for those who like a drink of wine or beer every now and then as this great article shows – Moderate drinking good for health

10) If you are thinking of adding some running into your regime, you may want to monitor you progress. Have a look at this informative article before you spend your hard earned cash – how to choose the right fitness device for runners

Vegetable Minestrone Soup

Vegetable Minestrone Soup

This soup is a great winter warmer and super easy to make. It is also very healthy and a great meal if you are a bit short on your Five-A-Day.





1 tsp / 5ml Olive Oil

1 Onion, chopped

1 Leek, sliced

2 Celery sticks, chopped

2 Carrots, diced

2-3 Garlic Cloves, crushed

600ml / 1 pint / 2.5 Cups Vegetable or Chicken stock

2 x 400g / 14 oz cans of Chopped Tomatoes

50g / 2oz / 0.5 cup of Frozen Peas

100g / 2 oz / 0.75 cups Soup pasta or Macaroni

Fresh herbs such as Parsley, Coriander or Basil

Salt and Pepper


Vegetable Soup Cooking1) Heat the Olive Oil in a large pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook until transparent, around 5-10 minutes. You do not want the onion to go brown.

2) Add the Carrots, Celery and Leek into the pan with the stock. Bring to the boil and then allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

3) Add the tomatoes, frozen peas and the pasta. Simmer for 10 minutes.

4) Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

5) Add the chopped herbs and serve.

Vegetable Minestrone Soup Cooking

You can add whatever vegetables you have to this soup to make it unique. I added Mangetout, Green Beans and Sweetcorn to mine. 

The soup is quite thick when cooked, you can add some water or more stock to it if you prefer a slightly thinner soup.



Calories – 110Kcals

Fat – 1.4g, Saturated – 0.2g

Cholesterol – 0.5g,

Carbohydrate – 23g,

Fibre – 3.3g

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Green Tea: Top 10 Reasons we should all drink more

Green Tea Heath BenefitsIntroduction to Green Tea

Green Tea comes from the leaves of Camellia Sinensis plant, which grows in Asia. Green Tea unlike the more traditional black tea is not fermented. The fermentation process consists of heating, rubbing and drying the leaves. This process removes many of the essential elements that make Green Tea so beneficial to us.

For more information on Green Tea and its origins click here.

Here are 10 reasons why we should all drink more Green Tea

1) There is a compound that is retained in green tea called Epigallocatchin Gallate or ECCG for short. Thus compound is an anti-oxidant, an essential component of a healthy diet. Anti-Oxidants help reduce the effect of "Free Radicals". These are produced naturally by the body and have been discovered to be harmful to it. They are linked to many cancers and other diseases. Green Tea can help the body to fight these free radicals.

2) ECCG help to increase the effects of Caffeine that is in the caffeine. By doing this it help to speed up the metabolism, which in turn helps the body burn more fat.

3) As another consequence of boosting the metabolism, green tea can also help give you more energy. It is great as a mid-afternoon pick me up.

4) Studies have found that it can reduce the effects of LDL Cholesterol (which is the bad one). For the study see here –

5) Another study found that Green Tea can help regulate the glucose level, helping to prevent insulin spikes and low blood sugar. Thus it could be beneficial to people who have diabetes. For the study see here –

6) research has shown that Green Tea can have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. It could be helpful to drink green tea when you have food poisoning as it can prevent the growth of some of the harmful bacteria such as E.Coli. It could also help in Oral hygiene and help kill bacteria that causes cavities and bad breath.

Health Benefits of Green Tea7) If you suffer from colds and flu, gargling with Green Tea may help. A study from Japan and Harvard University found that can stimulate the immune system helping fight these diseases.

8) A project carried out by Newcastle University in the UK found evidence that Green Tea may help slow down or cut the risk of Alzheimer's and Dementia. To read more have a look here –

9) Green Tea can make you more cheerful, so could help treat depression. Tea leaves contain Theanine which is naturally occurring can have tranquillising and relaxing effects. To find out more take a look at this article – 

10) This drink can also help to fight the effects of ageing. It's anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties can help reduce the effects of wrinkles and sun damageto the skin. Due to this it can also help in the treatment of Arthritis.

As you can see Green Tea is a drink worth investigating. Research is inconclusive as to how many cups a day we should be drinking to gain this benefits. Most agree on around 2-3. However do remember that it still contains caffeine, so if you have any heart problems or other issues causes by too much caffeine it is worth talking with your health / medical professional before trying it. This is true to for any new regime you may embark on.

More Information on Green Tea from around the Web

Green Tea and Cancer –

Green Tea Health Research –

Green Tea and Weight Loss –

Green Tea Health Benefits –


Why your Scales are not your best friend when your following a Weight Loss plan?

When following a weight loss plan people become obsessed with how much they weigh. It is always "how much they weigh", or "how much they are going to lose" that people talk about.

However the truth is that when trying to lose weight, weighing yourself is not the best indicator of how well your diet is doing.

What normally happens is that in the first week of people following a new diet they will lose 2-4 pounds in week one, followed by 2 pounds in week two. This is great, they feel good and have real momentum to carry on. Then what happens in week three is that they may not lose any or even put on a pound. They become dis-heartened and dis-illusioned with their new diet. All that hard work has come to nothing and they reach for the nearest chocolate bar.

Well what has really happened is that their diet is still working, they have just reached a plateau where what they weigh may not be changing, but that their body is. 

A far better way is to track progress on a diet is to measure yourself. Create a spreadsheet and measure your Chest, stomach, bottom, thighs, knees, your neck and your upper arms. Take measurements of these areas on a weekly basis. If you do this you will see progress, even if you don't on the scales.

The other thing to remember is that if you are incorporating regularly exercise into your weight loss plan, and why wouldn't you, that muscle can weigh more than fat. So what can happen is that your fat stores are burned off and your lean muscle is increased. Look at your body ask yourself "Do my clothes fit better?", "Do I feel better ?". You should be answering a resounding Yes ! This should be the motivation to keep going on your diet, not what the scales say… If you do keep at it you will lose weight, just gradually and more importantly safely.

For a Weight Conversion chart take a look here –

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